Forgive me if I take a few moments to talk American politics. But after watching the recent rounds of Republican debates, well ... I can't resist.
Newt Gingrich is fond of stating he wants to engage President Obama in a series of Lincoln Douglas debates.
Obviously Mr. Gingrich would assume the role of Stephen Douglas. Mr Douglas was a full foot shorter than Mr. Lincoln.
Both men were lawyers and had been very successful. Mr. Douglas was considered to be a brilliant man and, in fact, he was. No question about that. So was Mr. Lincoln. They simply had different philosophies.
These debates were conducted in Illinois during the fall of 1858. Both men were running for the United States Senate. The state legislature - not the people - elected senators in those days.
In the late 1850s the hot topic was slavery. Stephen Douglas argued that the states - not the federal government - should be allowed to decide the issue. Abraham Lincoln completely disagreed for a variety of reasons.
Today the Republican party advocates letting business take the lead in our society claiming that if business does well then so will the people. And, of course, the federal government needs to stay out of the way.
President Obama and the Democrats advocate for society as a whole - not for the wealthy few. John F. Kennedy said during his inaugural address "that if a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
I am not advocating that President Obama is John F. Kennedy. But I do believe that the ideals of the Democratic party are much more aligned with my beliefs than those of the Republicans.
While Mitt Romney talks about how successful he is and Newt Gingrich espouses about what a great historian he is and Ron Santorum talks about how he is not like Mitt or Newt (and I am not really sure what Ron Paul is talking about though he seems like a nice guy), I find myself uncomfortable with all of them and their philosophies.
It might be entertaining to see Newt Gingrich debate Barrack Obama. But when the dust settles it won't make much difference if the Republicans run Gingrich or Romney or someone else.
As John Kennedy said during his 1960 campaign against Richard Nixon "the Republican party reminds me of a circus elephant: a head full of ivory; a long memory and no vision; and you have all seen circus elephants being led around the circus ring, they grab the tail of the elephant in front of them."
Oh ... the Lincoln Douglas debates? I think you know that Mr. Douglas was elected to the Senate. And the majority of the people seemed to agree with his positions on such matters as slavery or, at least, states rights.
Sort of makes you think....
Thanks for stopping by.